Google Books contains millions of scanned books, from libraries and publishers worldwide. You can search the entire text of the books, view previews or "snippets" from books that are still in copyright, and read the full text of out-of-copyright (pre-1923) books. Want to read the entire text of an in-copyright book? Use Google Books' Find in a Library link to locate the book in a UC Berkeley library, or search OskiCat to see if UC Berkeley owns the book.
Why use Google Books?
Library catalogs (like OskiCat) don't search inside books; using a library catalog, you can search only information about the book (title, author, Library of Congress subject headings, etc.). Google Books will let you search inside books, which can be very useful for hard-to-find information. Try it now:
Finding Books in English
Since the UC Berkeley Libraries have a world-class collection used by scholars who speak and read many languages, you may see many non-English titles in your search results. If you prefer to see only English-language materials, you can limit your search results in OskiCat or Melvyl by language.
In OskiCat: After you search, click on the or the button (near the top of the page). Under Languages, select English on the pull-down menu, then click the Submit button. (You can also select more than one language by holding down the Ctrl key on a PC, or the Command key on a Mac.)
In Melvyl: After you search, look for the "refine your search" sidebar () on the left side of your search results page. Scroll down to see an option to limit your results by language.
Searching Library Catalogs
Use OskiCat to locate materials related to your topic, including books, government publications, and audio and video recordings, in the libraries of UC Berkeley. OskiCat will show you the location and availability of the items that we own.
- Using OskiCat (but not Melvyl) you can also renew your books online, look up course reserve materials by course number or instructor name, and place holds on items that other library users have already checked out.
Use Melvyl to locate materials related to your topic located at other campuses in the UC system, or worldwide. You can use the Request button to request an item from another library, if we don't own it.
- Using Melvyl (but not OskiCat) you can find articles as well as books, easily format a citation for copying into a bibliography, and see images of book covers, when available. Melvyl will also show you the location and availablity of items that we own.
Melvyl has changed as of January 2012, and now includes many more articles. Detailed Melvyl help
OskiCat/Melvyl Search Terms
Here are some terms you can use in OskiCat or Melvyl that may help you find books on your topic. Remember, these search engines only let you search brief information about the books - you're not searching in the full text of the books themselves! If you're not getting enough results, try leaving out some search terms, searching for a less specific topic (Joseph Conrad instead of Lord Jim) using Google Books, or asking a librarian.
An important thing to keep in mind is that OskiCat doesn't contain any articles from journals and magazines, but Melvyl does. You'll see both books and articles in your Melvyl search results - use the left sidebar to focus your results to just the types of material that you're looking for.
All of these terms are Library of Congress subject headings -- which means you'll get the most complete results if you enter them exactly as typed. Using the default Keyword search in OskiCat will usually give you the best results.Read more